Sweet Paul had the chance to meet and bake cookies with Dorie Greenspan! This recipe is from Dorie's James Beard Award winning cookbook,Dorie's Cookies!
Recipes by Dorie Greenspan | Food Styling by Tux Loerzel | Styling by Paul Lowe | Photography by Alexandra Grablewski
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From Dorie: "I have my friend Christine Beck, who is, like me, a Paris part-timer, to thank for this recipe. The cookies belong to the chewy-molasses-cookie family, but they have so much flavor and so many surprises that they transcend the familiar. For starters, there’s both crystallized ginger and powdered ginger, lots of chopped dark chocolate and an optional bit of instant espresso too, which I tacked onto the recipe because I’m an incorrigible tinkerer.
I also tinkered with the way these are baked. Classic molasses cookies are scooped, molded into balls, rolled in sugar, and then pressed with a fork before baking, and you can make these cookies that way. Or you can do what I do: Mold them in muffin tins, which turn out more uniformly shaped cookies that teeter on the brink of becoming gingerbread cakes.
A word on crystallized ginger: Crystallized, or candied, ginger is sliced fresh ginger that is cooked in syrup, dredged in sugar, and dried. You can usually find it in the supermarket alongside other dried fruits or in the spice section. If the ginger isn’t moist and pliable, steam it before using: Put it in a strainer over a saucepan of simmering water, cover, and let warm and soften for about 5 minutes; pat dry, chop, and use. If you can’t find crystallized ginger, you can omit it or mix 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger with 2 teaspoons sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes, until the ginger is syrupy."
MAKES ABOUT 36 COOKIES
2¼ cups (306 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 teaspoons instant espresso, to taste (optional)
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces; 170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup (67 grams) sugar
1⁄3 cup (67 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) unsulfured molasses
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup (55 grams) chopped
crystallized ginger or 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar (see headnote)
7 ounces (200 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped chip-size sugar, for rolling
- Whisk the flour, cocoa, espresso (if using), spices, baking soda, and salt together. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed, until fully blended. Add the yolk and beat for 1 minute, then add the molasses and vanilla, beating until smooth.
- Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once, and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour passes. Working on low speed, mix the dough until the flour is almost but not completely incorporated. Add the crystallized ginger (or the sugared fresh ginger) and chocolate and mix until the dry ingredients disappear into the dough and the ginger and chocolate are evenly distributed. If you’ve got bits of dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, mix them in with a flexible spatula.
- Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- To Bake: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350ºF. Butter or spray regular muffin tins or, if making free-form cookies, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Have a medium cookie scoop at hand. Alternatively, you can use a rounded tablespoonful of dough for each cookie. If you’re using tins, find a jar or glass that fits into them and can be used to flatten the dough; cover the bottom in plastic wrap. Spoon some sugar into a wide shallow bowl.
- For each cookie, mold a scoop or spoonful of dough into a ball between your palms, then turn it in the sugar to coat and put in a muffin cup or on a baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball of dough. If using tins, use the jar or glass to flatten each ball until it almost reaches the sides of the cup. If it’s free-form, press to flatten to about ½ inch thick.
- Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, rotating the tins or sheets top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be lightly set around the edges and softer in the center.
- Transfer the tins or sheets to racks, and let the cookies rest for 15 minutes before unmolding them and/or placing them on racks to cool completely. If you’re baking in batches, make certain to start with cool tins or baking sheets.
- To store: You can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days. You can also scoop out the dough, shape into balls, and freeze the balls on baking sheets; when they’re firm, pack them airtight, and keep frozen for up to 2 months. Remove the dough from the freezer and let the balls sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, then roll in sugar and bake. The baked cookies can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They’ll get a little drier and a little less chewy, but that will make them even better for dunking.
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